Always Dreaming was the odds-on favorite Saturday morning before the race, and he showed to the world why at Churchill Downs with an impressive victory at the 143rd edition of the Kentucky Derby.
The race wasn't as tightly contested as predicted but was a two-horse race between Irish War Cry and Always Dreaming up until the final turn. Over the last few lengths, Always Dreaming broke away from the pack and was in zero danger of losing this race.
With an impressive win at the Kentucky Derby, all eyes will be on Always Dreaming at the Preakness Stakes to see if he can continue this success en route to a Triple Crown.
But first, let's take a look at the final results of the Kentucky Derby and the purse payout:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Results|
|1||Always Dreaming||John R. Velazquez||Todd A. Pletcher||-|
|2||Lookin At Lee||Corey Lanerie||Steven M. Asmussen||2 3/4|
|3||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||7 3/4|
|4||Classic Empire||Julien R. Leparoux||Mark E. Casse||8 3/4|
|5||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario||Chad C. Brown||9 1/2|
|6||Tapwrit||Jose L. Ortiz||Todd A. Pletcher||10 1/4|
|7||Gunnevera||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano||13 1/4|
|8||McCraken||Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr.||Ian R. Wilkes||13 1/4|
|9||Gormley||Victor Espinoza||John A. Shirreffs||14 1/4|
|10||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh||H. Graham Motion||16 1/2|
|11||Hence||Florent Geroux||Steven M. Asmussen||18 1/2|
|12||Untrapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steven M. Asmussen||19 1/4|
|13||Girvin||Mike E. Smith||Joe Sharp||19 1/4|
|14||Patch||Tyler Gaffalione||Todd A. Pletcher||20 3/4|
|15||J Boys Echo||Robby Albarado||Dale L. Romans||22 3/4|
|16||Sonneteer||J. Keith Desormeaux||Kent J. Desormeaux||26|
|17||Fast And Accurate||Channing Hill||Michael J. Maker||28 1/2|
|18||Irap||Mario Gutierrez||Doug F. O'Neill||40 1/2|
|19||State Of Honor||Jose Lezcano||Mark E. Casse||45 1/2|
|20||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon||Saeed bin Suroor||DNF|
And here's the purse payouts for the top-five finishers on Saturday:
|2017 Kentucky Derby Projected Purse|
|Total Guaranteed Purse||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||4th Place||5th Place|
While the odds and field of horses in this year's Preakness Stakes are not yet available from Odds Shark as of Saturday night, it's hard to imagine that Always Dreaming won't open as a significant favorite after the performance he put on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.
NBC Sports provided video of the race:
It's easy to get excited over seeing another Triple Crown winner after American Pharaoh snapped the 37-year drought two years ago. Always Dreaming wasn't supposed to blow away the competition at the Kentucky Derby like he did, and he left many pundits in awe of his ability to break away from the pack down the stretch.
His trainer, Todd Pletcher, now has two Derby winners under his belt and isn't taking this second victory for granted.
"To me, it felt like I really needed that second one," Pletcher said after the race via the New York Times. "The first one was extra special. I have a tremendous respect for the race, tremendous respect for how difficult it is to win."
There won't be much time to celebrate the first leg of the Triple Crown as the Preakness Stakes is just a matter of days away, and Always Dreaming's hopes for a Triple Crown will be put to the test on Saturday, May 20 in Maryland.